International edition
September 21, 2021

According to a CAinfo investigation

us$ 826 million a year are bet in Uruguay

(Uruguay).- According to an investigation called “Owners of the gambling business. The lucrative betting business in Uruguay”, performed by journalists Pablo Alfano and Fabián Werner for the Center of Files and Access to Public Information (CAinfo), Uruguayans spend in games of chance the equivalent to 2% of the GDP: us$ 826 million.

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ccording to the first chapter published, in 2010 the turnover registered by all the games of chance in Uruguay grew a 13.8% compared to 2009 to us$ 561 million.

However, according to calculation of the government and prívate entities, if irregular machines (in bars and stores) are added, Uruguayans bet in 2010 the equivalent to 2 % of the GDP of the year (us$ 826 million).

The data of Casino Hotel Conrad in Punta del Este was not included in the investigation. Fabián Werner, the journalist in charge of the investigation, told the program “No toquen nada” that in several cases they had to resort to the Justice Department because they weren’t given any information.

One of the chapters is dedicated to the slots without the control of the state. There, they explains that it is possible to play in some of the more than 20,000 slots located in small stores in the whole country. These machines were considered “illegal” in the speech of the two latest governments of the Frente (Political Party) but continue collecting in a “grey zone” because there isn’t a legislation to ban or to regulate it.

“There is an approximate calculation that around us$ 100 million a year could be bet, but, according to what we could speak with some of the representatives of the businessmen that manage the business, they calculate a number much beyond that: they talk about us$ 250 million in 2010 and around 20,000 machines in the whole country,” said Werner. “Investigators estimate that the number of machines and the collection is “quite bigger”, but there isn’t any taxation to prove it.

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